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In recent years, the importance of workplace mental health has become increasingly recognized as employers understand the positive impact it can have on employee well-being, productivity, and overall business performance.
To delve deeper into this crucial topic, we have invited Ms. Preeti Chauhan to share her insights and strategies on promoting workplace mental health. Preeti is an HR Professional at Amnex Infotechnologies and a Mindset Coach (NLP Certified) with years of experience in fostering positive mental health in the workplace. Her expertise in this field makes her an ideal speaker to provide us with valuable insights and best practices to improve mental health in the workplace.
I often wonder what mental health really means. We use this term so much nowadays, but what does it encompass exactly? To me, it's about our emotional and psychological well-being. It's about promoting a healthy mindset that allows us to handle challenges, build positive relationships, and be productive at work. Mental health has become a priority in many organizations these days, and for good reason. The pandemic has brought to light just how important it is to take care of our mental health. Recent studies have shown that up to 90% of working professionals across the globe are experiencing stress, anxiety, or burnout. This could be due to an ever-increasing workload, unrealistic deadlines, poor work-life balance, unsupportive colleagues, or a negative company culture. It's time we start prioritizing our mental health and creating a supportive work environment that helps us thrive both professionally and personally.
I'd like to share with you some important information about mental health. First of all, it's important to understand that there's no easy fix or one-size-fits-all solution for mental health issues. It's a process, a practice that needs to be consistently executed to eventually evolve into a better state of mind.
Taking responsibility for our mental health is not just the job of corporate houses, human resources, or leaders, but also our own individual responsibility. If we don't take care of our own mental health, it will inevitably affect not only ourselves but also those around us.
Organizations also have a responsibility to create a healthy work environment, with practices such as decent working hours, providing quality food and education, and taking care of the holistic well-being of their employees. Some organizations have started offering mindfulness practices, professional counseling, and even psychiatric services to help their employees.
However, it's also important to note that all five aspects of our lives - physical, emotional, relational, financial, and spiritual - are interconnected. If one aspect is struggling, it will impact the others. That's why it's crucial to practice self-mastery, focusing on taking charge of ourselves, and making small daily changes to keep all aspects of our lives in balance.
There are simple practices we can adopt in our daily routine, such as mindful thinking, decluttering our minds, and taking care of our physical health through exercise and nutrition. Unfortunately, we're often not taught how to manage our mental health in school, college, or work environments, which is why it's so important to start taking charge of our own mental health now.
It's becoming increasingly important to take care of our mental health in today's world, as medical research has shown that about 90% of diseases that people experience these days arise out of stress in the mind. These are referred to as psychosomatic diseases, which means they originate from the mind, and then show up in physical symptoms. For example, stress can cause inflammation, which can lead to various conditions like hypertension and even cardiac arrest. People also experience aches and pains, like shoulder and neck aches, stomach issues, and back pain, which are all symptoms of psychosomatic diseases.
It's not just about having good sitting postures or engaging in some physical activity, but it's a holistic approach that includes our values, culture, and practices. Organizations also need to take care of their employees' mental health, not just by offering medical insurance but also by demonstrating good leadership and trust. For example, it's important to have an open-door policy where employees can talk to their managers, team leads, or other members of leadership about their mental health issues. However, despite having such policies in place, stigmatization can still prevent people from opening up about their mental health, which is a problem that needs to be addressed.
It's important to note that post COVID-19 pandemic, stress and anxiety have a compounding effect on people's mental health. Therefore, it's crucial to prioritize our mental health and seek help when needed, whether it's through therapy, counseling, or talking to a trusted friend or family member. Taking care of our mental health not only helps us lead happier and healthier lives but also ensures that we can be more productive and effective in our personal and professional lives.
As I reflect on my approach to understanding and meeting expectations, I realize that I tend to focus on what I understand and try to avoid making the same mistakes twice. However, I also struggle with accepting feedback, especially in heated situations. I have noticed that in those moments, I can become defensive and unwilling to listen to others' perspectives. I realize that this can be detrimental to my relationships and ultimately hinder my personal growth.
I believe that life is a sequence of experiences that shape our quality of life. We are constantly influenced by external factors, such as people, situations, incidents, and more. These factors can be micro-interactions that create a lasting impact on our experiences. It can be challenging to navigate this complexity, but I recognize that focusing on what I can control and not wasting my time on things outside of my control is important.
I understand that taking responsibility is a critical aspect of managing expectations and addressing challenges. When faced with responsibility, I must take ownership and respond dynamically, rather than passively accepting the situation. This can be difficult, especially when I am confronted with limiting beliefs or when I feel that others are not meeting their responsibilities. However, I know that by taking responsibility for my responses, I can improve the quality of my life and relationships with others.
I believe that we are all human beings with choices. Unlike animals, we can choose between different options and set standards for ourselves. It is essential to practice dynamic responsiveness, where I actively engage with situations and take responsibility for my responses. This requires practice, and I understand that there will be times when I struggle to adopt this approach. However, I believe that by focusing on my responses, I can address challenges more effectively and ultimately improve my quality of life.
In summary, I recognize that understanding and meeting expectations are essential aspects of personal growth. However, I also acknowledge that my approach to these areas has been limited in the past. By focusing on what I can control, taking responsibility for my responses, and practicing dynamic responsiveness, I believe that I can improve the quality of my life and relationships with others.
As managers, we should have a guiding voice inside us. We should see ourselves as part of the solution for any problems that arise within the team. When team members come to us seeking help, we should make sure to have an open door and an open ear. We should always ask them if they want us to interpret what they are saying, so that we can better understand their needs. When they are talking, we should make sure not to interrupt, as we understand the importance of letting them unload their thoughts and feelings without any judgment.
Building trust with team members is crucial to fostering a positive work environment. When team members trust us, most things will automatically fall into place. Of course, training and learning are important, but we know that clearing the mind is a regular process that needs to be attended to constantly. We can give team members the tools and knowledge they need to succeed, but how they use those tools and how they benefit from them is ultimately up to them.
As managers, we should strive to be proactive in communication with team members. We shouldn't wait for something bad to happen before initiating a conversation. Instead, we should try to establish regular, friendly communication with them. We believe in giving continuous feedback and observation, and we make sure to help team members before any problems arise. By doing this, we hope to build their trust and make them more comfortable in their roles.
When team members are stressed and overworked, it can lead to absenteeism and a decrease in productivity. This can also lead to increased turnover and added costs for the organization. Employee retention is key, and it's not always about compensation. It's about providing adequate support and ensuring job satisfaction.
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